Government pushes back start date for South African schools

The Department of Basic Education has adjusted its proposed school calendar for 2020 to later in the year due to continued concerns around the coronavirus.

While the department had indicated that children could return to school as early as next week, minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has said that no date has been set for the return of pupils to schools and that only the ‘schooling sector’ will be open from 4 May.

She added that the final dates for the school calendar will be gazetted once administrative work is completed and cabinet gives its approval.

However, Motshekga said that the following preliminary dates have been established for the return of teachers and management as agreed upon in a national command council meeting on Thursday (30 April).

These dates are currently set as:

  • Office-based staff to return to work on 4 May 2020. This is in line with the directive from the Department of Public Service and Administration.
  • School management teams should return to work on the 11 May 2020. This is to ensure that the management teams have time to prepare the schools prior to the return of learners.
  • Teachers will return to work on 18 May 2020;
  • Grade 7 and Grade 12 will learners to go back to school on 1 June 2020.

“Special arrangements will be made to permit learners and teachers, who are currently in other towns or cities, provinces and/or neighbouring countries, other than those where their respective schools are located, to return to their schools and places of residence,” she said.

“We will intensify our communication modalities to ensure that communities, parents, teachers and learners know and understand the challenges faced, and the remedies that are necessary to keep everyone within our school premises safe and healthy.”


Read: University campuses remain closed during level 4 lockdown

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Government pushes back start date for South African schools